Lions off to winning start in AFLW

The Brisbane Lions have made a flying start to their campaign for a miaden AFLW title with a comprehensive 29-point win over Richmond at the Swinburne Centre.

The Lions, twice losing grand finalists, are off and running towards that elusive flag after downing the Tigers 5.11 (41) to 1.6 (12).

Even a parochial COVID-capacity crowd and the historic significance of games back at the Tigers' traditional home couldn't fire the hosts to match the better-organised Queenslanders.

Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich lauded his players for accepting the challenge of getting up before dawn for the flight to Melbourne to face the Tigers in such a historic game.

"I was pretty pleased after all the obstacles on today's program, all the reasons you could come up with for not running out the game strongly. The players were terrific in the last quarter," he said.

"I was half expecting the opposition to come really hard with the breeze, but we did all the attacking. "

Winless after six home and away games in their debut AFLW season, the Tigers were desperate to break that duck, this time under new coach Ryan Ferguson.

But they fell away up forward again with No.1 draft pick Ellie McKenzie's 12 possessions debut and the solid defensive work of former Demon Harriet Cordner among the positives.

"We gave ourselves a chance to stay in the game for all of the first three quarters," said Ferguson.

"We were probably kicking with a couple of goals wind in the last quarter, maybe in their endeavours to take the game on and really try and run it down, we went away from how we want to play and rushed it a bit,.

"There was a lot of reaffirmation of things we're doing, but obviously there's a hell of a lot of learning to do."

Facing a 20-point deficit but with last use of a steady breeze, the Tigers needed an early goal to spark a fightback.

But it was the Lions who found the decisive goal, the first to the southern end for the game.

Dakota Davidson marked on the lead and converted from 25m to leave the home team out of time and options.

Skipper Katie Brennan had two chances to be the hero and kick Richmond's first AFLW goal at their spiritual home.

She was offline from 25m after a strong contested mark and the second shot from another mark was right on target, only to be ruled touched off the boot.

It was left to fellow forward Courtney Wakefield to earn the bragging rights when she pounced on a loose ball midway through the second quarter.

It was Richmond's first elite-level game at the Punt Road Oval since 1964.